Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

Before we get to our regularly scheduled blog – I wanted to remind you that ‘Grace Group’ is scheduled to be released June 17th! I’m so grateful to  eLectio Publishing and wanted to let you all know that I’m starting to line up signing/speaking extravaganzas (well, extravaganza is perhaps a bit strong…shall we say ‘events’ to sound more classy?) If you have a book club, MOPs group, bible study, or anything where having a successful published author come and do a reading would be fun, but one can’t come and you need a fill in…(totally kidding…it’s a great book and my self esteem is perfectly healthy)  I’m really excited to share this book and would LOVE to come read/speak/sign…just let me know.

And now…here’s what I’ve been up to.

I wrote the majority of this about a week ago, on the plane back from California. It was the last time I had any peace and quiet, and seems so, so long ago. To back up a little, I have a couple clients in California who needed to see me, and since I’ve been wanting to take a road trip with the Biscuit for a while, and Kindergarten is right around the corner, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Of course, given that our families and families of the heart are all in Southern California, and that Dreamy and the boys wouldn’t be coming, it wasn’t without its angst. Here are the things I angsted about terribly:

  • That the boys, particularly #NoBen would be devastated to know there was a vacation and they wouldn’t be on it.
  • That despite our proximity, I couldn’t see a way to make the trip down (up? over?) to Hemet to see our grandkids – especially to meet Melina for the first time.
  • That I would have to go to Disneyland.
  • That I would miss the preschool Mother’s Day Tea. Again.

All that aside, I was pretty excited to be able to do a girls’ trip. Bisky loves Grandma more than anyone else, and she’s the only granddaughter, so it was a pretty special trip. One of the hardest parts for me was keeping it a secret from her for three weeks. I did break down and promise her a very big, special reward if she was good. She did her best to guess what the reward was. Some of her guesses included:

  • A new lamp
  • Her own phone to facetime and text Grandma on
  • A new dress
  • A new house

I guess she’ll have to learn the hard way just like I did about managing one’s expectations.

She never came close to guessing the real surprise. I revealed it in the form of a treasure hunt, where she got information written on a card, envelope by envelope along with clues of where to find the next envelope, with the big D-Land as the big reveal. It was a bit anti-climactic, due to the fact that Bisky really, REALLY loves treasure hunts and was too disappointed that it was over to really take in what we told her. To her credit, she was very conscientious about not talking about her trip to B-E-N (now that she can read and write, she’s taken to spelling words in front of the boys, and sometimes just for fun). When it finally kicked in, she fortunately only had a night to wait before our big adventure.

Overall, it was an amazing trip. I was a little concerned that Pat and Dreamy were sugar-coating to help my ‘I-abandoned-my-babies’ angst but it appears that #NoBen and #StopThatAiden barely skipped a beat while I was gone. And I’m very glad for that, but now that I’m back, they definitely seem a bit more neurotic and get a bit clingy when I leave the house. Or the room. Or their side.

I still don’t love Disneyland and can’t imagine that I ever will. I always say that an unmet expectation leads to a resentment, and it’s difficult to discern the expectations a five-year-old might have about Disneyland. We don’t have TV so she’s not exposed to commercials, so all she really knew is that a few of her little classmates have gone, that it’s in ‘Californ-ra’ and that there are princesses there. Princesses. And therein lies the rub.

Because one doesn’t merely SEE PRINCESSES in the Magic Kingdom. That morning Bisky donned her favorite blue princess dress, tiara, sparkle shoes and princess eye patch and cheerfully endured the drive, shuttle ride and wait at the entrance so that she could enter princess land. She was confused and a bit peeved when we entered the gates and there were no princesses. She immediately asked to go on the Peter Pan ride, which already had a 60 minute line, so I took her on the Snow White ride instead which had no line.

It had no line because it’s a freaking horrible experience! Basically you’re riding in the dark, with explosive loud noises, scary witch cackling, sharp turns and very scary witches popping up unexpectedly. So that was the first thing. Then we stood in line for an hour to meet the princesses, only Bisky didn’t understand that and was just PO’d. She demanded to go home and sat there with her arms crossed glaring at me. Even when we jumped out of the line to meet Jasmine (and barely made it back in in time) she was still mad. When the gate attendant said “Hello Princess! Are you having a good time?” She said “No.” “Oh, why not?” “Because MOMMY LIED about the princesses,” she answered pointing at me, probably hoping they’d take me away to jail.

But finally it was our turn, and I do have to say, despite all the commercialism, sexist BS and overpriced everything, they did a great job on the meet the princess thing and the three we met were wonderful with Bisky. That pretty much made the day and we could have happily left at that point. But we didn’t because it cost as much as the plane fare there to get in, so we stayed. Turns out Bisky is a roller coaster fan. But not a Splash Mountain fan (the singing turkeys are creepy apparently).

The next two days we spent at the beach and Knott’s when I wasn’t working. Despite my guilt at not bringing the boys, it was totally apparent that it would have been an unmitigated disaster to have them there – particularly at D-Land. As it was, we allowed Bisky to dictate the events and even then there was a lot of back and forth. Trying to deal with three, keeping #NoBen in line, and not losing anyone would have been enough to break me completely.

As it was, this was the longest time I have gone without changing a diaper in over five years. I’m so grateful to Pat for going above and beyond with the boys, for Dreamy for filling in the gap when he’s pretty busy himself, to Mom for coming with and making it so special, and for Grandpa for fending for himself for nearly a week.

And like all wonderful times, the peace and serenity was very difficult to hold on to once I got home. The boys were so happy to see us and I swear #NoBen was talking twice as much when we got home. Unfortunately, he becomes distressed when other people talk at the same time he does (which I understand…I really do) and he handles it by screaming. So it’s been a very noisy, chaotic, happy, angry, crazy kind of week since we got back. In other words, business as usual!

One thing to note…if you have a kid Bisky’s age and you’re debating on whether a big theme park is worth the money…every kid is different, however when Bisky got back and was sharing about her great adventures she said (and I kid you not)…’I went to California with Grandma and Mommy and we went in a SWIMMING POOL’…just sayin’.

And speaking of crazy…summer is beginning! I’m SO excited for the adventures we’re going to have this year! What’s on your agenda?

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